July 8th, 2010
09:27 PM ET

LeBron James to play for Miami Heat

NBA free agent LeBron James announced Thursday that he will play for the Miami Heat in one of the most anticipated free-agent announcements in sports history.

James said he made his final decision Thursday morning, after speaking with his mother.

"Once I had that conversation with her I think I was set," James told sportscaster Jim Gray.

The six-time NBA all-star and two-time league MVP said the chance to play alongside fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami affected his decision.

Editorial cartoons, billboards and even quips from President Obama have accompanied the courting of "King James."

Speculation began to intensify last week over where the NBA's most sought-after free agent would choose to play after he started meeting with six teams vying for him: the New York Knicks, the New Jersey Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers - the team he has spent his entire career with.

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Rumors that the Miami Heat was the leading contender to grab James began to emerge this week, with Newsday's Alan Hahn tweeting the news after midnight Thursday.

In an interview in June with CNN's Larry King, James, 25, said Cleveland would have an "edge" if they tried to retain him after he became a free agent.

James has spent his entire seven-year career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who drafted him out of high school in 2003.

"This city, these fans, I mean, have given me a lot in these last seven years... for me, it's comfortable," said James, who grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio. "I've got a lot of memories here. So it does have an edge."

But the six-time NBA all-star also said he's seeking an NBA title and wants to play with a team that can win more than one NBA championship. The Cavaliers were bounced from the second round of this year's playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

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soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. KSR

    EGO vs EGO vs EGO...should be an interesting season seeing how well they all share the spot light...What a way to repay the city, state and team that made him...I'm not even a Cleveland fan, and I think this stinks.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Husain

    All NBA players goal is to when a ring. Lebron did what he had to do. I never was a fan of his but has always been a fan of Wade. So people stop crying. It's no different when Shak went to the lakers for a ring. Right on Lebron. May god bless you with many championships.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ken

    good decision lead to good goal!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IDE

    Good luck on your quest for cash LeLoser. I've never witnessed anyone as full of himself as you.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Detroitman

    i hope he does not expect to be on the beach with the endless oil spill around.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Orthodoxy

    die die die my darling may tou get no rings

    July 8, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. GJ

    I hope the Heat implodes!

    July 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Troy

    This will just show Lebron sucks as a leader and can not win a championship on his own. He will go down as a almost great player that needed help. At least Kobe was able to win without Shaq. I hope the Heat does not win for years, if at all and good luck filling the rest of the teeam with what little cap space they have.

    July 8, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. reimann

    Hope he will be able to rent a 1 BR apt in miami and use the public transport. he should let us know if he needs any financial help. we can all sleep peacefully now that he has broken the suspense.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. belmere

    who cares... this is just another thing that is messed up about this country... no ignorant idiot is worth this much... and because of crap like this my NBA watching time will be stopped completely... maybe if other people would stand up and say 'no' then this kind of stupidity would stop...

    July 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Spaceman

    thank you LeBron.... another championship for Kobe!

    July 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mike

    ATTENTION SHEEPLE:
    Your nation is dying, your freedoms are under attack, your economy is being destroyed and your future stolen from you!!!!!
    LeBron James and lyndsay lohan do not matter. Wake up!!!!!!!!!

    July 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  13. steveinkc

    And blames it on his mom?!! Wow...thanks son.

    July 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JSB

    He's a juvenile, egotistic jerkiot and I'm sick of the story. Hope they get pounded by the rest of the league and ome int last place! Here's longing for thedays wheen integrity meant something

    July 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. michael

    i seem to remember Miami tried (and was sucessful) to "buy" a championship V.I.A. the Marlins

    does lightening strike twice ?...only time will tell

    I'm not so sure the team chemistry will be the disaster som are 'hoping' for...If Lebrons strength rubs off on Wade–and–Wades lack of ego rubs off on Lebron, it could be a sick team t watch

    July 8, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
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